Re “The root of all our problems” (Letters, Sept. 3): The writer claims that “in 1947 Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black decided the First Amendment of the Constitution says there’s to be a wall of separation between church and state and we have allowed it to become law.”
Here are the facts: On March 8, 1949, the U.S. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, found in McCollum v. Board of Education that religious instruction in public schools is a violation of the establishment clause and therefore unconstitutional. The vote was 8-1 with Justice Hugo Black writing the majority opinion. In 1952, the high court revisited this ruling in Zorach v. Clauson. The 6-3 ruling held that a New York program allowing religious education during the school day was permissible because it did not use public facilities or public funds.
The United States Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all its citizens, however tax-supported public schools are not an appropriate place to teach religion.
Richard D. Christian, Modesto